Atlanta is one of the biggest hubs for culture in the U.S., and while the city has been recognized for being essential for the production of both music and film, the fashion world has been slow to recognize strides being made in the southern city. One emerging ecommerce fashion brand that’s caught our eye is A19, designed by Kara Chin. After launching in 2018, the brand recently released its new spring collection of athleisure wear. With no formal training specific to fashion design, Chin attributes her understanding of garments and construction to her styling career. We caught up with Chin recently to discuss her brand and get a look at her newest collection. Check out photos and our Q&A below.
BOSSIP: Where does the brand’s name come from?
Kara Chin: The name A19 stems from where I was in my life when I decided to go full force with my brand. I was recently divorced, transitioning from being a stay-at-home mom to working for the City of Atlanta 9-5, leaving a business partnership and branching out on my own and battling a lot in my personal and professional life.
During this time the numbers 1 and 9 were prevent in my life. My birth is 1/9 and my son was born on 1/19. My brothers birthday is 1/11 and my sisters 9/11. Every time I would look at the clock it would be 9:11. I started researching numerology and finding out what the prevalence of these numbers meant. I found that these numbers were angels numbers. 1 being the first number and 9 being the last whole number, 1 & 9 shown together mean the beginning and the end. A new beginning. That is exactly where I was in my life. Ending all that I had known and venturing into the unknown. A19 is symbolic of “A New Beginning.”
BOSSIP: Who would be your dream client to wear the brand?
Kara Chin: The rebrand of A19 is the most accurate depiction of who I am at the core. I grew up a tomboy. Tough exterior but a feminine interior. I’ve always maintained a balance between femininity and masculinity, sex appeal and power. The brand is fashion forward athleisure wear with a runway quality. This always reminds me of Teyana Taylor. She has mastered the art of being comfortable in her aesthetic while simultaneously exuding femininity and masculinity.
BOSSIP: What are some of your favorite brands?
Kara Chin: Some of my favorite brands and Fear of God, John Elliot, and John Geiger. I love that these brands are seemingly unisex. They provide clients with tasteful and refined athleisure wear that makes a statement.
BOSSIP: What’s been the biggest challenge to launching your brand?
Kara Chin: The biggest challenge for me with getting my brand off the ground has been the lack of unity in Atlanta’s fashion industry. The infrastructure isn’t here for a designer to build their brand from ideation to market. There are no fabric stores that offer current textiles, very limited manufacturing capability, etc. In addition, what is here is spread out and limited in ability. I think Atlanta is an essential cross roads in launching anything into the fashion and entertainment space and because of this, the city should support its fashion industry by conceptualizing and investing in a fashion district like all of the other major cities possess. This will increase sustainability for the brands that are birthed out of Atlanta. Most designers at some point have to take their business to New York or LA.
We’re loving everything this line has to offer. Check out more photos below:
To view the entire product offering, visit www.anineteen.com.